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Janet Roberts

Readers List Big-Ezine Alternatives
By Janet Roberts

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Here's Part Two in the ongoing discussion about ezine size:

It all began when Ezine-Tips reader Ian Fenn asked whether a 100K preview issue of his new paid-subscription email newsletter was too big.

Catch up on the details here, and read the first outpouring of reader comments here.

But readers weren't just content to comment on how large an ezine could be. Instead, they suggested alternatives, a selection of which appear below:

Gene Kneip:
"Why not create a web site where you can have all the content you want, and then send out an email featuring your lead article for the week, (or month), with links back to the web site. Also include a blurb telling the reader sabout the new content at the Web site. This gives you the added advantage of getting search engine listing, and of adding content specifically geared toward achieving good search-engine placement.

"In the case of your chef, his Web site could be password protected for paid customer use only, but he would be free to also send the email to unpaid subscribers, and hope to entice them to upgrade."

Jonathan Shaw:
"How about he makes the big article issue into an ebook and offers it as an incentive to people to subscribe to the newsletter. Ebook sounds more value than a newsletter preview, and length is less intimidating in an ebook."

Susan Allred:
"I'd suggest creating an issue that has a hyperlink to each of the articles you offer. This way you still provide the content, but the reader can pick and choose which articles they want to read immediately and which ones they want to hold off on until they have more time.

"I do this often. I'll quickly browse through my email and click on the article that interests me the most, then I file the rest of the email (links and all) away until I have time to sit down and read it all. But Janet is right. Sometimes it takes me days, weeks, even months before I have time to get back to the articles."

Even though most readers said 100K was too much even for a one-time preview issue, Danny Levinson, disagreed:

"We have an ezine that is now in its 7th year, has over 70,000 weekly readers, and hovers around 100k with only HTML (not including the downloading pics). Rarely do we receive any complaints, perhaps because we provide info that can't be gained anywhere else. If the content is worth 100k, users will receive it."

A sample is here.

Ezine-Tips for March 14, 2003

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